For a broader audience, the name Nick Meijer might not ring a bell, but for insiders, Nick is one of the persons whom you’ll run into during press trips or when it was still existing, watch fairs such as Baselworld and SIHH (now W&W.) Nick, born and raised in the Netherlands, moved to Denmark six years ago to start DailyWatch Aps. Say what? Well, it’s a network of various persons, including Kristian Haagen, and social media accounts including @Dailywatch, a small Instagram account dedicated to watches with just 2.5 million followers… Let’s assume that he knows a thing or two about watches, as his choice of the day demonstrates. This explains why he instantly fell in love with a watch from an independent watchmaker. So let’s discuss Nick’s Czapek Quai des Bergues no. 21 in stainless steel.
Frank Geelen, MONOCHROME – When was the first time you laid eyes on this exclusive brand?
Nick Meijer – In my “career” as a watch enthusiast, it has happened only a handful of times that I instantly fell in love with a watch, just based on the press photos. This happened in 2015 when Czapek showed their first collection, the Quai des Bergues. Everything was spot-on for me and I knew this would be my watch. I got in touch with Xavier and happened to be their very first appointment at their first Baselworld, I believe it was in 2016. From there on a friendship with Xavier de Roquemarel, CEO of the company, and a deeper admiration for the brand Czapek grew.
As an “Indie guy” I love the creativity, the stories and the romance of independent watchmakers, and I am in the fortunate position to regularly meet many of them. To get really close to the watchmaker or brand owner, know their struggles, philosophies and feel the entrepreneurship and craftsmanship does add a lot of value for me. Czapek has introduced a business model where owners can be shareholders and where there is always transparency about partnerships and suppliers, which is quite rare in the industry. This philosophy is executed with the best possible partners and a constant stream of new models and editions has followed since, making Czapek one of my favourite brands in general.
When did you buy it, and where?
I pulled the trigger in early 2018 and ordered it at Baselworld that year at the Czapek booth. I chose the Quai des Bergues no.21 in steel because it has this unique Vinyl-like, carbon-coloured dial, where the outer ring is 0.4 mm higher than the inner dial. Depending on the light, both ring and dial constantly display different shades of grey and black. Fascinating to look at and extremely difficult to photograph. Out of the first edition of 188 pieces, only a handful were made in this configuration. A nice detail: my father-in-law is a talented painter and last year he made a big painting of my Czapek. The whole family is hooked, you see.
Do you wear your watch a lot?
I wear the watch regularly in rotation with other watches. It’s meant as a daily wearer, so I don’t save it for special occasions whatsoever. When I wear it, I only get reactions and comments when I am with fellow collectors or watch people in general. These are usually positive as you don’t see that many Czapeks. Outside horological circles hardly anyone notices the watch, which is a big comfort for me. I wear this watch primarily for myself and don’t need the show-off. The most reactions I get from myself: I secretly admire the watch multiple times a day, so I consider it a very good investment.
Do you know the current market value and would you ever sell it?
I don’t care about market value as I will never sell this watch. As a reminder of that, I have a message to my wife engraved on the caseback!
Are there any more watches you would like to buy?
Of course, there are! Not surprisingly, my wish list contains many independents with F.P. Journe and Akrivia on the top spots, immediately followed by De Bethune and Urwerk. I don’t need many watches, just the right ones…
Do you have general tips for people who want to start collecting watches?
Follow your heart and allow yourself time to grow in knowledge and taste. It’s a beautiful hobby and there is a lot to be explored outside the mainstream brands.